King’s Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World’s Most Dangerous Game was published today. It’s a strange feeling—joy that this long project of mine is now complete. Hope that the book will find its way onto the reading lists of nonplayers who want to understand how this seemingly arcane game brings out strong emotions (and, sometimes, crazy behavior) in both professional players and amateurs alike. Hope that my father-son story of deception and betrayal may resonate with other people.
I have now posted the beginning of the book on my Web site.
I am cheered by the review of King’s Gambit in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. The magazine gave my book an A-: “The first chapter of Hoffman’s chess-obsessed book includes the phrase ‘an early light-squared bishop sortie by White.’ If these words send you running for the relative simplicity of a Parcheesi board, fear not. Hoffman, the former editor-in-chief of Discover, weaves a layman-friendly work about family (specifically his father, a chess-playing pathological liar) and the neurotic personalities who are consumed by bishops, rooks, and Sicilian openings. Whether pondering why top female players are so scarce or detailing his tense journey to a Libyan tournament (where he is suspected of being a CIA agent). Hoffman traps readers from his opening moves.”